KOLKATA: BCCI President Sourav Ganguly said on Friday that struggling batting maestro Virat Kohli needed to score points not only for India but also “for himself”.
In the Asian Cup which starts here on Saturday, Kohli will resume the quest to score his first international cent since 2019, having failed in all his previous attempts.
“He has to score points not just for India but for himself. I hope it will be a good season for him. We are all confident that he will come back,” Ganguly said in an interaction.

Kohli’s last international century came in the pink ball test against Bangladesh at the Gardens of Eden in 2019.
“I’m sure we’re all waiting for him to get that hundred, he’s been working for that as well,” Ganguly said.
“The chances of getting a hundred in a T20 are less because of the weather. But hopefully it will be a great season for Kohli.”
The 33-year-old former India captain, who was last seen in action in England in June-July, is back after a month-long break which saw him skip two sets of white balls in the West Indies and in Zimbabwe.

Kohli’s highest tally in his last five matches was 20 in India’s loss to England in the rescheduled fifth Test in Birmingham.
Having also relinquished the Royal Challengers Bangalore captaincy, Kohli had a quiet IPL 15, scoring 341 points in 16 games averaging 22.73.
Ganguly, during his media interaction on the sidelines of Senco Gold & Diamonds’ DG Gold promotional event here, refused to accept that a big player like Kohli could endure a period of leanness for so long.

“He’s a really big player, been there for a long time. I know he has his own formula for scoring points. There’s no way players of his stature can’t have such a long stretch of lean, I know he will definitely score points.
“If he wasn’t a great player, he wouldn’t have scored so many points for so long,” Ganguly said.
Reigning champions India will begin their campaign with a marquee clash against arch-rivals Pakistan in Dubai, around a year after losing to them at the same venue in the T20 World Cup.
Ganguly said the T20 World Cup loss will have little bearing on the outcome of the next matches.

“Since 1992, I’ve been following Indo-Pak games closely. In those 30 years, we’ve only lost once. It’s not magic that you always win. You lose once or twice. times, it’s okay,” Ganguly said.
Asked about the pressure that comes with playing in Pakistan, he said: “Those who play cricket regularly like when I was playing, it’s just another game you had to play. I didn’t never played just thinking ‘Pakistan, Pakistan.’ Maybe during a World Cup semi-final, a qualifying game, those kind of emotions were there.
“If you take all of that into consideration, I know Rohit (Sharma), KL Rahul, Virat, (Rishabh), Pant know how to handle pressure.”
When asked if Pakistan would miss their star leader Shaheen AfridiGanguly said: “I don’t think a player makes a difference in a team. We don’t have (Jasprit) Bumrah either.”
Ganguly further said Hardik Pandya’s return was a huge boost for India after the IPL.
“Absolutely…He’s a huge addition to the team besides his bowling. Last year he wasn’t fit to bowl, now he’s back to bowling. So he’s a huge addition “, did he declare.
“No team is a favorite in the T20 format. Has anyone thought of Gujarat winning the IPL. It’s a completely different format. You have so little time to recover,” he said. he declared about the favorites to win the Asian Cup.
Ganguly’s term as BCCI chairman is set to end in September, and a Supreme Court bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud will decide the Council’s plea for an amendment to the ‘cooling off’ period after six years in office. . He had served in the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) before becoming the head of the BCCI.
“It’s not in my hands. I don’t know, whatever will be asked will be asked. We’ll see,” the 50-year-old said when asked if he wanted to continue after the end of its mandate.
Moving on to football, Ganguly said he was happy to see former players Bhaichung Bhutia and Kalyan Chaubey vying for the post of president in the upcoming All India Football Federation (AIFF) elections.
“It’s always good when sports people come to the administration. It has to happen because they have a much better knowledge of the game. It’s very good that Kalyan Chaubey and Bhaichung Bhutia are fighting for the top position in the league. ‘AIFF,” Ganguly concluded.
The AIFF elections are scheduled for September 2.



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